Category Archives: Mr. Adair’s Classroom

“Where do we begin Mr. Adair?”

“At the beginning, ” he said. And throughout the year that I was under his tutelage – he would continue to challenge me to, “Never stop searching for truth.” In this endeavor, we provide – once again – the writings of many writers – many of whom I have known for years – providing historical lessons of import and understanding – little of which is addressed in our “classrooms” today.

Seese: Did the Founders Understand the Constitution?

Is the above just a stupid question? Did our founders, the ones who hammered out the Constitution of the United States, several of whom became presidents, fail to understand the Constitution of the United States of America? Why would anyone even ask a question like that?

Because either the Founders misunderstood the Constitution they drafted and the states ratified, or the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals is clueless as to the meaning and intent of the Constitution and our founders, as is evidenced by the order to Roy Moore, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama, to remove the Ten Commandments from public premises.

That makes the title question valid. Either the Founders had no idea what they meant, or the federal courts and the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has invented another document out of what our forefathers wrote, and meant when it was written!  Continue reading

Can John C. Calhoun Save America?

Statesman John Calhoun, often vilified by modern sophisticates for the Confederacy’s embrace of his political philosophy, was in fact one of the greatest and most articulate champions of states’ rights, limited government, and strict federalism subsequent to the Founding Fathers.

A two-time vice president and one of America’s greatest senators, John C. Calhoun was also one of the most eloquent proponents of limited government and states’ rights… Continue reading

George Washington Family Secrets Revealed by DNA From Unmarked 19th Century Graves Really!

President George Washington had no children of his own, but new research has identified the remains of two of his grandnephews and their mother. ~ Bildagentur-online/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Genetic analysis has shed light on a long-standing mystery surrounding the fates of President George Washington’s younger brother Samuel and his kin. Two of Samuel’s descendants and their mother were recently identified from skeletal remains found in unmarked burials dating back to the 1880s. The investigation also provided the first patrilineal DNA map for the first US president, who had no children of his own. Continue reading

Claude Frédéric Bastiat: The LAW (June, 1850)

THE LAW, first published as a pamphlet in June of 1850, and published on the first generation of The Federal Observer in 2001, is now a hundred and 174 years old. When a reviewer wishes to give special recognition to a book, he predicts that it will still be read “a hundred years from now.” And because its truths are eternal, it will still be read when another century has passed. These truths are particularly true and evident today. Frédéric Bastiat was a French economist, statesman, and author. He did most of his writing during the years just before – and immediately following – the French Revolution of February 1848. This was the period when France was rapidly turning to complete socialism. As a Deputy to the Legislative Assembly, Mr. Bastiat was studying and explaining each socialist fallacy as it appeared. He explained how a system of socialism must inevitably degenerate into a system of communism, totalitarian despotism, and from there, when the system becomes intolerably oppressive, into lawlessness and anarchy, inevitably to revolution and war. But most of his countrymen and the world have chosen to ignore his logic. Kettle Moraine Publications through Metropolis.Café, presents Bastiat’s THE LAW to the Sovereign Citizens of the Web because the same situation exists in the United States and the World today in the 21st Century as existed in the France of 1848. The same socialist-communist ideas and plans that were then adopted in France have now swept America. The explanations and arguments then advanced against socialism by Mr. Bastiat are – Word For Word – equally valid today. His thoughts on THE LAW deserve a serious hearing by all concerned and honorable citizens of the United States and the World. We cannot long afford to continue to ignore his logic.

~ The Translation ~
This 1950 translation of THE LAW was done seventy-four years ago by Dean Russell of The Foundation For Economic Education, Inc., Irvington-On-Hudson, New York. Mr. Russell’s objective was an accurate rendering of Mr. Bastiat’s words and ideas into twentieth century, idiomatic English. A nineteenth century translation of THE LAW, made in 1853 in England by an unidentified contemporary of Mr. Bastiat, was of much value as a check against this translation. In addition, Dean Russell had his work reviewed by Bertrand de Jouvenel, the noted French economist, historian, and author who was also thoroughly familiar with the English language. While Mr. de Jouvenel offered many valuable corrections and suggestions, it should be clearly understood that Mr. Russell bears full responsibility for the translation. ~ Jeffrey Bennett, Kettle Moraine Publications
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J. Robert Oppenheimer: “We know too much for one man to know much.”

1958. American physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer @Philippe Halsman

NEW YORK, N. Y., Dec. 26, 1954 – J. Robert Oppenheimer, the noted American physicist, drew a dramatic picture tonight of modern man living in an electric world in which virtually all of the traditional theories have become outdated.

While his speech was dramatic in itself as a scholarly foray into a description of the unfolding pages of modern arts and sciences, Dr. Oppenheimer’s appearance had the added edge of the peculiar position in which he stands today, at the age of 50, between greatness already earned to a large degree, and questions of character raised in political circles on the basis of records in political circles on the basis of records that may remain secret through his lifetime.

Earlier this year Dr. Oppenheimer was suspended as consultant to the Atomic Energy Commission for security reasons. Debate that attracted nationwide attention followed this peremptory act by the Commission, particularly since responsible officials reiterated that Dr. Oppenheimer’s personal character is above reproach.

Dr. Oppenheimer also must be remembered as the “architect” of the work that developed the atomic bomb, for he was director of the laboratories in Los Alamos, N. M., where the bomb was perfected. He now holds the post of director of the Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, N. J., and by today’s invitation the powers at Columbia University showed their opinion of him. Continue reading

Uncovering the Revolutionary War Legacy of Charleston, SC

Charleston, South Carolina, is a city steeped in the rich history of the American Revolutionary War, offering a unique blend of historical sites and stories that bring the era of American independence to life. This article delves into several key locations and events that highlight Charleston’s significant role in the Revolutionary War. Continue reading

The Ninth Amendment: Enumerated Rights Explained

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

This amendment was introduced by James Madison to ensure that the Bill of Rights was not seen as an exhaustive list of the rights of the people. It acknowledges that there are other fundamental rights that exist even though they are not specifically mentioned in the Constitution. The Ninth Amendment serves as a constitutional safety net intended to make clear that individuals have other fundamental rights, in addition to those enumerated in the Constitution. Continue reading

Considering History: The 1933 Business Plot to Overthrow America

In 1933, a group on businessmen conspired to unseat President Roosevelt and overthrow the government. One man stopped them…

Still from Universal newsreel footage of Smedley Butler describing his 1934 congressional committee testimony (Wikimedia Commons)

Toward the climax of director and screenwriter David O. Russell’s new historical drama Amsterdam (2022), Dr. Burt Berendsen (Christian Bale) narrates a line that is not only central to the film’s plot and themes, but also one of the most telling quotes in recent American film history. Burt and his friends have begun to uncover the shadowy and sinister plan at the film’s center, a plan by powerful moneyed figures to overthrow the president of the United States and replace him with an unelected dictator. And Burt asks both himself and the audience, in the voiceover narration to which the film returns frequently, “What’s more un-American than a dictatorship built by American business?”
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The First Legal Slave Owner in America Was a Black Man?

Here’s something you won’t read about in the US history books. The first legal slave owner in America was black and he owned white slaves.

Anthony Johnson (BC 1600 – 1670) was an Angolan who achieved freedom in the early 17th century Colony of Virginia.

Johnson was captured in his native Angola by an enemy tribe and sold to Arab (Muslim) slave traders. He was eventually sold as an indentured servant to a merchant working for the Virginia Company.

Sometime after 1635, Antonio and Mary gained their freedom from indenture. Antonio changed his name to Anthony Johnson. Continue reading

December 23, 1783: “More Extraordinary Than Any Military Feat During the War

The Baltimore Washington Monument. Emblazoned on the sides are important dates in the Revolutionary War, including December 23, 1783. At the top, Washington resigns his commission.

In Baltimore, Maryland stands one of the first monuments erected to the memory of George Washington. The 180-foot monument was finished in 1829, before the Washington Monument in D.C. was even begun. The impressive stone pillar is topped with a large statue of the General. Unlike most other statues of George Washington, the statue in Baltimore does not depict the Revolutionary War hero on horseback with his sword drawn, or as the First President of the United States. Instead it shows Washington, in his military uniform, simply extending a hand holding a piece of paper. Despite the simplicity of the scene, it is representative of one of the most important moments in the founding of the American nation: Washington resigning his military commission.

On November 1, 1783, Washington learned that the Treaty of Paris had been signed and the Revolutionary War was over. Continue reading

Publius Rutilius Rufus: Rome’s ‘Last Honest Man

Publius Rutilius Rufus (158 B.C.-78 B.C.) attempted to reform Rome’s corrupt tax system, and soon found himself accused of corruption and extortion himself.

Banished for debasing the currency from his home city in what is now north-central Turkey, Diogenes of Sinope chose to beg in the streets of Corinth and Athens, live in a clay jar, and eschew wealth of any kind. The story is often told that he walked the streets with a lantern, looking in vain for an honest man. He often confronted people with disparaging hand gestures, including one that involved the middle finger. He is considered a founder of the ancient Greek school of philosophy known as Cynicism. In his 80s, he died in the same year as Alexander the Great (323 B.C.). Continue reading

Here’s Why John F. Kennedy Once Passionately Argued To Keep The Electoral College

The days of New York City’s Tammany Hall and the Windy City’s “Chicago Machine” may be technically over, but that doesn’t mean Democrats have given up trying to rig and steal elections in a neverending power grab that would make Mayor Daley blush. Not by a long shot. In fact, you can bet the farm that virtually any cockamamie proposal put out there by anyone with a D beside their name is specifically designed to do one thing and one thing alone – get votes.

Oh, I know they like to pretend they’re all about “virtue” and “values” and helping the “disenfranchised,” the downtrodden, and the disaffected, but these modern day Bolsheviks have “more power” scrubbed into their DNA, and it defines EVERYTHING they do. Continue reading

Gouverneur Morris (1804)

“I charge you to protect his fame. It is all that he has left.”

NEW YORK, New York, July 14, 1804 – All that Alexander Hamilton might have wished to have said of him in life was poured forth today in a moving funeral oration by Gouverneur Morris, diplomat and former colleague of Mr. Hamilton both in the Continental Congress and on the Committee that framed the Constitution.

He spoke over the open coffin holding the body that collapsed in sudden death only four days ago on the Weehawken Heights, across the Hudson River in New Jersey, when Mr. Hamilton engaged in a duel with Aaron Burr.

Today no words were spoken of the controversies over politics and finance that culminated in this tragic event. Neither did Mr. Morris mention the fugitive Burr. Continue reading

King Andrew and the Bank

Andrew Jackson stares down the national bank and wins.

“Jackson Slaying the Many-Headed Monster,” 1828. Private collection, Peter Newark American Pictures / Bridgeman Art Library

On July l0, 1832, President Andrew Jackson sent a message to the United States Senate. He returned unsigned, with his objections, a bill that extended the charter of the Second Bank of the United States, due to expire in 1836, for another fifteen years. As Jackson drily noted, the bill was presented to him on the Fourth of July, a day freighted with portent.

Today Jackson’s Bank Veto and the political conflagration known as the “Bank War” that it touched off seem arcane and nearly incomprehensible. While misdeeds among the rich and powerful still garner headlines and incite congressional inquiries, the core instruments of our economic system-the network of banks capped by the Federal Reserve; the corporate form of business enterprise; the very dollars in our wallets, issued and guaranteed by the federal government – are utterly taken for granted. That these could have been the subject of controversy, that anyone could seriously contemplate organizing American capitalism differently, seems nearly unthinkable. Andrew Jackson is recalled today, when recalled at all, for other things, primarily as the architect of forced Indian removal. His face on the $20 bill is a mystery to many, an outrage to some, and, to the knowing, a curious irony. Continue reading

Franklin Roosevelt’s Speech on the Meaning of Public Policy in the Depths of the Great Depression

Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Commonwealth Club Speech” (September 23, 1932)

In this speech, delivered in the depths of the Great Depression, ­ presidential candidate Franklin Roosevelt sought to explain the dramatic ideological differences between himself and the Republican President Herbert Hoover, ‘the Great Engineer.’

In this speech Roosevelt attempts to distinguish the role of government as addressing public policy goals, in serving the public good, rather than simply administering some predetermined economic principles handed down by ‘the market’ and a class of professional economists and financiers.

The speech and the candidate were not well received by the media and the movers and the shakers of the day, the very serious and very comfortable people largely untouched by the economic hardship of the collapse of the stock bubble in 1929, who derided it as ‘too Socialist.’
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The First Ukrainian American

Learning more about the first Ukrainian American and his contributions to a foundational American story helps remind us that America has been profoundly transnational at every stage of its history.

The first settlers arriving in Jamestown (National Park Service)

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine has unfolded over the last few weeks, most Americans have certainly been united in their support for the Ukrainian people and condemnation of Russia’s increasingly brutal attacks and tactics. But one area where there has been significantly less consensus is the question of whether and how the U.S. and its allies should intervene in the conflict. Among the arguments for the U.S. maintaining its distance from this unfolding European war is that this conflict is ultimately unrelated to the United States and that it concerns two foreign nations from whom we would do well to remain isolated.

There are various ways to challenge such isolationist arguments, including highlighting the historic moments when isolationism not only failed to end unfolding world wars, but also led directly to belated and more fraught U.S. involvement in those conflicts.

But there are also stories of early Americans who found their way to the continent from across the globe; these stories contradict any perspective on the U.S. as isolated from seemingly foreign nations like Ukraine. Learning more about the first Ukrainian American and his contributions to a foundational American story helps remind us that America has been profoundly transnational at every stage of its history. Continue reading

The Mysterious Disappearance of the Roanoke Colony in the Americas

The story of the Roanoke Colony is one of the most enduring mysteries in American history. In the late 16th century, a group of English settlers established a colony on Roanoke Island, located off the coast of present-day North Carolina. However, when a supply ship returned to the colony in 1590, all its inhabitants had vanished without a trace. This puzzling event has captivated historians and researchers for centuries, with various theories and speculations attempting to unravel the fate of the lost Roanoke Colony. Continue reading

James Madison (June 6, 1788)

“Would it be possible for government to have credit, without having the power of raising money?”

RICHMOND, Va., June 6, 1788 – James Madison, second only to Thomas Jefferson as architect of the new Federal Constitution, today urged ratification of that document in most compelling terms, as he addressed the Convention of Virginia on the need for a responsible, powerful central government but one to be held in check by a care~y contrived diversification of protections for the individual states.

His speech pointed up the vagaries of arguments mustered against the Constitution since its completion by the Philadelphia Convention a year ago. As he spoke here, the principal argument to be overcome was the fear that Virginia, already having assumed responsibility for its debts incurred in the Revolution, would be made the tax dupe of other and less provident states in future tax laws by the Federal Government. This fear was not unlike the arguments advanced in the New York Convention one year ago, when Alexander Hamilton was attempting to allay similar fears on the part of New York’s vested interests.

Mr. Madison, at 33 years of age, has few of the arts of oratory, but he already has shown by his writings his capacity to muster argument with cogent words, as when he stated, “Direct taxes will only be recurred to for great purposes.”
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The LIE that is the Gettysburg Address

On Nov. 19, 1863, at the dedication of the military cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, President Abraham Lincoln spoke these words:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. Continue reading